Disaster Resilience: Are we ready before the next one strikes?
The next presentation in the Texas A&M Energy Institute Lecture Series, featuring Dr. Debalina Sengupta, the Associate Director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Gas & Fuels Research Center, as well as the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Coordinator in the Texas A&M Energy Institute at Texas A&M University, will be held on Thursday, July 2, 2020, from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. CDT (GMT -5:00) through an online Zoom meeting. The topic will be “Disaster Resilience: Are we ready before the next one strikes?“
We are witnessing history, and living through it. Never before in recent times has a pandemic spread around the world and paralyzed nations, economies, resources, and most importantly, people, all at the same time. It has exposed vulnerabilities to systems in ways that we are yet to fathom. As we wade through solving the immediate human health concerns and crisis, there is a deeper question that we need to address. The role of different entities and players in the society need to be taken into consideration for determining the resilience to disasters of great magnitude.
Over the past two decades, statistics suggest that the intensity of natural disasters have been increasing, and the damages caused by them have been impacting the lives of millions. Hurricanes and flooding events have increasingly influenced coastal communities and given rise to terms as climate refugees. Disaster management has primarily been a top-down approach from governance perspectives. The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 saw a comprehensive push towards disaster management strategies, and the need for emergency planning and implementation.
However, the multiple failures during disasters and the resulting increase in losses to human lives, property, and progress of regions have yet again shown us that a convergent, interdisciplinary research approach is required to address the four stages of disaster management: Response, Recovery, Mitigation, and Preparedness. From analyzing vulnerabilities and risks to identifying root causes and critical elements in the full cycle of disaster management, interventions can be designed for timely recovery and minimizing loss of life. Deriving from concepts of sustainable development, this webinar will provide a framework for resilience studies, and seek to develop partnerships that can bring translational research components for innovative approaches towards disaster resilience.
Dr. Sengupta’s research focuses on sustainability in the context of process systems engineering. She has worked on process design, integration, intensification, optimization, life cycle assessment and other related concepts for Sustainable Supply Chain Design of Biofuels, Natural Gas, and Consumer Products, and decision-making in Sustainability using metrics and indicators. She has also been actively involved in the development of educational modules for sustainable manufacturing. Dr. Sengupta is currently appointed as the Associate Director of the TEES Gas and Fuels Research Center.
Dr. Sengupta serves as co-PI or senior personnel on several multi-million-dollar Department of Energy (DOE) research projects from the RAPID Manufacturing USA Institute (Process Intensification) and the CESMII Manufacturing USA Institute (Smart Manufacturing). She was integral to the successful National Science Foundation planning grant, “Engineering Research Center for Resilience Enhancement and Disaster-Impact Interception (READII) in the Manufacturing Sector.” Her current research interests are related to resilience in the process industrial sector under disaster conditions. She has organized five workshops funded by the National Science Foundation in the area of disaster resilience and is also working on several publications that capture the impact of disasters in the manufacturing sector. She has authored two books, “Chemicals from biomass: integrating bioprocesses into chemical production complexes for sustainable development” by CRC Press (2012), and “Measuring Progress towards Sustainability” by Springer (2017) several peer-reviewed journal articles, and book chapters.